By David Nagel
They say patience is a virtue in the racing game and Pakenham trainer Lyn Shand can vouch for that statement after Turf Flyer smashed her rivals in the $25,000 Fish Creek Hotel Maiden Plate (1100m) at Stony Creek on Sunday.
Turf Flyer had run just six placing from his first 17 starts, but gave nothing else a chance on Sunday after being fired out of the gates by jockey Arron Lynch.
The four-year-old gelding – out of Turffontein/Madame de Costa – went straight to the lead from his wide barrier and careered away to break his maiden status at start 18.
Turf Flyer came close to his debut victory on his home track at Pakenham last year, following on from a similarly narrow defeat on the Ballarat synthetic.
Lynch rode a very aggressive race on the weekend, hitting the front early then extending on the turn before racing away to win by an impressive six-length margin on the line.
Shand got one up on her more illustrious Pakenham counterpart, Peter Moody, who trained race favourite Tan Tat Beau ($2.40) into second, while Cranbourne trainer John Price was a further length-and-a-half away in third with second favourite Twelve Bells ($4.20).
Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander took out the day’s feature, the $85,000 Stony Creek Cup (2100m) with his French import Vardani.
Vardani, who has now won three races for Alexander since making the move from the Northern Hemisphere, camped back in the 11-horse field before jockey Josh Richards made his move at the 600.
The Charm Spirit/Visorama five-year-old gelding used every inch of the short Stony Creek straight to reel in the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace-trained Scarlet Tuffy, with Richard Laming’s Dogmatic coming in third.
The race quinella, Vardani and Scarlet Tuffy, are both members of the successful OTI Racing.